School of Communications and Arts (ECA). Photo: Marcos Santos/ USP Images
School of Communications and Arts (ECA). Photo: Marcos Santos/ USP Images

Due to a lack of professors, the Visual Arts at the School of Communications and Arts (And each University of São Paulo canceled 11 subjects one week before the start of classes for the semester, due to the revocation of the contract of several professors. Students and professors point to the dean's disregard for arts students – the cut in professors affects a third of the course curriculum, making graduation unfeasible. The Visual Arts course at USP was the 12th most sought after in the last university entrance exam, with almost 31 applicants per vacancy.

In a manifestation convened by Visual Arts students at the university for last Friday (11/7), on Avenida Paulista, an open letter was released from several movements that joined the protest, such as Juventude Já Basta!. They received the support of the ECA Administrative Technical Commission (CTA) at a meeting at the university on the 8th. The protesters pointed out to the CTA that many ECA students were unable to enroll in disciplines (some of which were mandatory) and therefore found it difficult to give continue their studies. The neglect shows a paradoxical situation: according to the ranking released just over a month ago, USP is the best higher education institution in Latin America and the 85th best in the world, according to the 20th edition of the list QS World , one of the most respected university quality rankings in the world. The list already refers to 2024.

Scrapping, which seems programmatic, affects several other courses at the university, such as Music, Performing Arts and Journalism. There are scholarship cuts and the precariousness of student housing, which can contribute to the university entering into an irreversible degradation process. “The lack of hiring professors in a course like Visual Arts at USP limits opportunities for developing new talent, as well as compromising the prestige of the institution and its ability to attract students, partnerships and relevant projects, compromising the maintenance of a body of qualified and stable teacher, vital for the quality of teaching at the University and since its beginning connected to the cultural and artistic community, playing a fundamental role in the training of professionals linked to the area”, says the letter.

POSTPONED GRADUATIONS

Of the 11 disciplines cancelled, five of them had already been canceled due to a lack of teachers or work overload for teachers in the Department of Visual Arts (CAP). But the announcement that six other disciplines were canceled surprised students and teachers. The disciplines will not be offered because the contracts of three temporary professors at CAP are no longer renewed, and there are no others available to assume them. Another 11 disciplines that should be offered in the first half of 2024 also face uncertainty so far.

The suspension of disciplines also caused confusion because it was announced after the organization of the course schedule and enrollment for the second semester. According to a report by USP Faculty Association (adusp), students had to hastily reorganize their enrollments to get the minimum number of credits for the semester, and there are cases of students who will have to postpone graduation due to lack of disciplines. One student recalled that the situation could get even worse, because there are forecasts for five retirements at CAP by 2026, one of them already next year. The students also warned that the lack of professors could lead to the impossibility of using the Digital Modeling and Fabrication Laboratory and the reduction of offers from the Unified Scholarship Program (PUB) in the course.

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